Is it proper to correct someone who has made an incorrect statement?
by Tom Malone
(Spring Hill, Florida)
Let's say that someone refers to Ginnie Brown-Waite as "Ginnie Waite-Brown." May I say, "Her name is Ginnie Brown-Waite" without getting the response, "Oh, Whatever!"?
When I said professor EM-er-EE-tus and someone corrected me with "that's E-MER-i-tus," were they impolite or just helpful?
Mar 08, 2011
by: Wendy (Modern Manners and Etiquette)
Thank you so much for your question.
The manner in which you correct someone is vital. If you are in a situation when you feel like you need to make a correction, your tone of voice and the words you use will determine if you are being polite or coming off as a know-it-all. The frequency of correcting is a factor as well. If you have mentioned the correction once and they have not changed what or how they say something, it is best to leave it alone.
As with anything, you never know how your words are going to be received by the person you are speaking to. Using your manners will more than likely diffuse a "whatever!!" bomb, but sometimes it doesn't. The most important thing to remember is that you used your manners and came off in a much better light.
One more thing, when someone corrects you, it is something that is important to them enough to mention. Take it into consideration, use your manners and thank them.
I hope this helps!!!